Thursday, April 1, 2010

How To Wallow

Today I'm going to impart vital information about something I do very, very well: wallowing.

I am a PRO at wallowing. In fact, I recommend learning proper wallowing technique. It's the most useful skill you'll ever acquire. These nine easy steps will guarantee intense misery, which is what we're all looking for, right? So without further ado:

Step 1: Stay In Bed As Much As Possible
You can't be a good wallower if you're up and about! Of course, you might have work and stuff, but don't get up until you absolutely have to. Forget the shower—a little Febreze and deodorant will cover that stench right up.

While in bed, be sure to cry into your pillow and blow the entire situation out of proportion. Use LOTS of over exaggeration. "I will NEVER EVER be happy AGAIN!" "This ALWAYS happens to ME!" If possible, have really horrible anxiety dreams and clench your jaw the entire night so you wake unrested and in miserable pain. Then you will have more to wallow about.

Step 2: Do Not, Under ANY Circumstances, Get Dressed
Pajamas are mandatory, preferably old ones with holes. It's ideal if you haven't washed them for a few days either. If you're a girl, don't wear makeup. Then you will feel and look appropriately crappy. You can't look nice when you wallow—then you might FEEL nice, which is way out of line. If people come over, they will immediately understand how horrible your life is and leave you alone.

If you absolutely must dress, at least make sure your hair is unkempt and you slump and frown a lot to convey the proper level of gloom.

Step 3: Eat Horrible, Fatty Food
You can't be properly miserable if you don't gain at least a few pounds while you wallow. Don't eat anything green—unless it's jellybeans. All your food should be fried, high in cholesterol, salty, covered in gravy, drenched in chocolate, 70% sugar, or glazed. Or all of the above.

Step 4: Read Into Everything That Happens To You
You're not wallowing properly if you see the silver lining. Spin everything around so you KNOW the world is out to get you.

You show up at the doctor's and find they lost your appointment—"I can't even schedule appointments right! I'm a FAILURE." They're out of your favorite frozen pizza at the store—"I'm such a LOSER! Why didn't I get here faster? I'm slow and worthless." Hit a red light—"I'm going NO WHERE with my life!"

These are just examples. I swear.

Clean houses are way too nice for wallowing. You might actually feel peaceful and accomplished if your dishes are done and your laundry is folded. Your house should PROVE how wretched and woeful your life is (and thus you). There should be stuff all over the floor and at least three trash bags waiting to be taken out. There should be nothing clean to wear. That way you can wallow about how you're so lazy you can't even do menial tasks.

Step 6: Tell Yourself Everyone's a Liar
The people who love and know you are WRONG. They're only saying you're smart and talented and funny because they love you. They don't actually know. They're just being polite. All those people who say you suck? Yeah, they're right. They've somehow seen all those moments in your head when you're a horrible person—they know the real you and aren't blinded by stupid love and respect.

Step 7: Blame Other People For Your Problems/Feelings
Preferably people who have absolutely no connection with you. Like JK Rowling or Nicholas Sparks. Perhaps The President. Oh, and Paris Hilton. Oprah! Yeah, it's all THEIR fault. They made you have wild expectations! Or they shattered your dreams. Or they're everything that's wrong with everything. You can't do anything about it.

Step 8: Waste Time
You're going to need a lot of distractions, because if you solve your problem the wallowing will end and you might actually have to work and fix it. The internet is a good place to start. Wasting time works especially well if you can convince yourself it's "research" or "networking" or something else that kind of sounds important but isn't.

Step 9: Compare Yourself to Others
Everyone will be better than you, so it doesn't really matter who you pick. Just make sure to compare and compare often. And if people talk about how hard they worked and struggled, ignore it. They're only saying that to make you feel better, not because it actually happened that way.

Oh, and Happy April Fool's Day.


  1. I am SO GLAD I read this just before I got in the shower. Back to bed with greasy hair it is!

  2. LOL love this. Probably should go shower and get dressed though since its 7pm...umm...hahaha

  3. Mmm - jellybeans!

    I think you forgot Step 10, which is: Don't talk to any of your friends or loved ones. They'll only reinforce what a schlub you are, so why do you need to hear what they have to say? It's much better to predict and exaggerate their thoughts. This will save you some time - which gives you more to waste, as per Step 8.


  4. Such a great list! And I've unknowningly followed its advice many, many times in the past!

  5. Hilarious! But I think I'm laughing a little too much to go wallow properly.

  6. So, that's what I've been doing my whole life. It's good to know it has a name (excuse me while I quash that good feeling). Now, back to wallowing.

  7. Haha, thank goodness for the last line.

    As someone whose sig other is intimate with P&G, I feel it is my duty to tell you that it's Febreze, not Febreeze. Which is highly illogical, I know.

  8. Ok! Now I have an excuse to NOT clean the house!

  9. Oh, April Fool's? Hmm. Guess I better re-learn how to live.
    PS I totally name dropped you in today's blog post

  10. Crap. You mean this is called wallowing instead of "real life?" Ha! Hope you get out of the wallow soon. Your interview was wildly popular. Where would that fit??

  11. Great list :) LOL I do #3 whether I'm wallowing, celebrating, or just living life :P

  12. hahahaha the sad thing is that i have totally done some of those things before :)

  13. You should put this in letter form and adress it to ANGSTY TEEN.

  14. LOL! My kids don't permit wallowing to that extent.

  15. And to think I woke up for this - it's all your fault. You probably didn't even have to work at this post like I have to work at mine. Where's the pizza, I'm going back to bed.

  16. Ah, man. I had already put a bunch of effort into cleaning house, showering, etc. before I got your post. I'll have to start all over tomorrow on the wallowing.

  17. I've known the secret all along! I'm a genius!

  18. LOL, don't you mean "Crappy April Fool's day"?

  19. I would love to do this, but my kids won't let me!

  20. SNARF.


    That's all I've got to say. Gotta go change back into my pjs now.

  21. Okay, I feel a little lame IF you've had this new layout for a while now, Natalie, because I REALLY REALLY do read you regularly, I promise! That said, I like it!

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go follow your Wallow Recipe to the letter. :)

    Word verification: "beedst." ...Is that a former Shakespearean word that didn't make the cut? I thought that man wrote EVERYTHING...

  22. You forgot about guilt tripping your mother/spouse/child/friend/former roommate (since you are, of course, wallowing!) to stock you up on your favorite drinks and treats as you watch favorite mood movies and/or video games!

  23. No one notices when I wallow--until they want to be fed.

    And I get tired of it (and feel all grimy) after about thirty minutes, so I guess that's my wallowing limit.

  24. Heehee. Great April Fool!

    I'm loving your new site layout, by the way.

  25. My new life's manifesto! Thanks for the great insight, as always Natalie. But don't take that as a real compliment, you wouldn't be wallowing properly. Just tell yourself I don't know the real you, because if I did, I wouldn't think you're funny. I will tell myself that you think I am some crazy Internet commenter and could care less if I comment on her blog. We both win at walllowing!

    Oh wait, that's a good feeling. Dang, wallowing is harder than I thought.

  26. Oh my gosh you're hilarious!!!

    Thank you for the tips, next time I'll be ready!

  27. This isn't good. I do steps 2, 3, 5, and 8 when I'm in a good mood.

  28. Love this!!! I love a good wallow. With your tips I can now do it right. ;)

  29. Dude, I'm WAY ahead of you. Totally a pro-wallower already. Epic win.

    We must find a way to make money off our insane wallowing abilities. But maybe tomorrow. I'm going to lay in bed for awhile. And maybe surf the net. Or something. Eh.

  30. Hey. Were you spying on me after the last time I received my editor's revision letter?? Because, really. This was WAY too exact and close to happen to TWO people.

    Off to look for the hidden wireless cameras, or did you take them out already?? :-)

  31. In a way reading this post was very therapeutic, because even though it is laden with sarcasm it is nice to know there are others who experience the wallows.

    And congrats on presenting at a conference. That's great. I wish I was in Utah.